School action over essay unwarranted

By Aimee Rickman

Really, editors? We need to be responsible for our own actions? Well, okay.

But how irresponsible of you, as journalists, to absolve those in power of responsibility in the actions they take against those they suspect of potential future wrongdoing.

While your editorial on the Cary high school student arrested and kicked out of school after turning in a violent essay lashes out at the boy’s “lack of common sense,” it chooses to gloss over the extreme measures taken by school officials in response.

This student had never been in trouble before. He had a GPA above 4.0. The essay assignment instructed students to write whatever came into their minds without corrections or self-censoring. Even without this background information, the school’s decision to call in the authorities and boot the kid was a rash and unjust first-step reaction to a worrisome student action – even in the shadow of the Virginia Tech shootings.

Something had to be done to address the essay. But where was the call to parents, the psychological intervention, the administration heavies?

Some schools still even have teachers who will talk to their students when they see them give off troublesome signs such as this. Where were they?

These types of preemptive steps guard important aspects of student safety.

They should be expected from schools before involving authorities and criminalizing teens.

As a student paper, I hope you will do a better job advocating for constitutionally-protected individual rights and challenging strike-first, fear-based power and practices lobbied against our own.

The advancement of security is increasingly needed on this level.

Aimee Rickman

graduate student